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Jacob'sDad
06-24-2008, 12:51 PM
I need some opinions.
When insulin goes bad does it do absolutely nothing? Is it like giving water?
Are there times when the insulin is bad but it partially works, meaning it takes MUCH more of it to get the proper results?

Also, what is the appearance of bad insulin? Can insulin look perfectly fine in the vial or pump cartridge and yet be bad?

Thanks for your help!:)

Abby-Dabby-Doo
06-24-2008, 12:58 PM
I've heard it looks cloudy or it has floaties. I haven't seen this myself.
I thought I've read that it loses it's potency- I would assume in the end it's just like giving water.

I have the opinion, When it doubt- throw it out! It doesn't matter how it looks, or how old it is or isn't, I pitch it!

Lee
06-24-2008, 12:58 PM
From my experience, insulin that is going bad looses potency. So, it will work just enough to make you question your sanity!

Lantus would turn cloudy - but I have not noticed nay change in Novolog.

Skyefire
06-24-2008, 01:09 PM
Dave
We have a problem all the time with Phoenix's insulin going bad, I think it works differently for each person. With Phoenix it is like he didnt have any, no matter how much we give him he still raises. I have never had a bottle just opened not work, but we HAVE to throw out insulin every 20 days or less, because his BG is high and as soon as we switch everything evens out again.

twodoor2
06-24-2008, 01:23 PM
I need some opinions.
When insulin goes bad does it do absolutely nothing? Is it like giving water?
Are there times when the insulin is bad but it partially works, meaning it takes MUCH more of it to get the proper results?

Also, what is the appearance of bad insulin? Can insulin look perfectly fine in the vial or pump cartridge and yet be bad?

Thanks for your help!:)

Hi Dave,
It's not like giving water. That was my quote from another thread, and I apologize because I clearly overexaggerated. :cwds: I agree with the others that it just loses potency.

You should also make sure it's not cloudy, or has floaters, unless it's NPH. NPH should be mixed at least 20 times by gently rolling between the hands, and insulin should never ever be shaked. :D

Some insulins lose potency much more quickly than others. I find Lantus to be extremely susceptible to temperature, and I always keep it refrigerated, and I only take it out for very brief periods in order to get it in the syringe.

Beach bum
06-24-2008, 02:31 PM
I need some opinions.
When insulin goes bad does it do absolutely nothing? No it works still, just not great.
Is it like giving water? Water, diluted with insulin. Meaning it works, but not as it should.
Are there times when the insulin is bad but it partially works, meaning it takes MUCH more of it to get the proper results? Yes

Also, what is the appearance of bad insulin? Cloudy, things floating in it.
Can insulin look perfectly fine in the vial or pump cartridge and yet be bad? Yes, it can be starting to go bad.

When we first got out of the hospital, we were given a penmate from the CDE. We used the pen, but were struggling with numbers. They were out of range, but not crazy high. I happened to look closely at the cartridge and realize that the insulin was 3 months expired! Needless to say, the CDE drove over to our house with a few samples of insulin! She said that the insulin wasn't useless, but it wasn't working to it's full capacity at this stage of the came. Oh, and she apologized profusely! Turns out they were using that particular pen in a training session a while back and had pulled that one since it was about to expire!

Gaia
06-24-2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks for bringing this up. Joey's grandmother just called concerned about the highs hes been having the last few days. He's been covering correctly, doing everything right.......yet still having highs. So just to be on the safe side I told her to toss the current pens (Hemalog & Lantus) and start new ones. It was freaky that I log on here right after that and this topic is here . So thanks! Very helpful!! :cwds:

StillMamamia
06-25-2008, 07:15 AM
The others have pretty much answered your question.

This is what I found in Diabetes Mall


Store insulin you are not using in a refrigerator. It is a protein dissolved in water, sort of like a soup stock, so keep it cold to prevent it from spoiling. Keep it between 36 and 46 F. If it gets colder it will freeze. If the insulin freezes, when it thaws it will separate and clump and will no longer be usable. If it gets warmer it will be ok for awhile but will eventually spoil.
If it starts to spoil, bacteria growing in it breaks down the insulin. It won't hurt you to use this. However, its not as effective so your blood sugar will be higher than you expect even though you took the right amount of insulin at the right time.
It is ok to keep a bottle of insulin you are using at room temperature for up to 28 days (room temperature is 59 to 86 F). The preservative in insulin keeps it from spoiling this long.
Insulin at room temperature injected into the skin is more comfortable for many people. Also, it may be easier to get rid of air bubbles in the syringe when it is at room temperature.
If you live in a hot climate and your room temperature is above 80, keep your insulin in the refrigerator.
Insulin in a pen can only be kept at room temperature for 2 weeks before it begins to spoil. Check with your pharmacist, the package insert or the manufacturer's websites.
Insulin used past 28 days at room temperature or past the expiration date on the box may still be good. However, using it may cause control problems and is not recommended.
Lantus, Humalog and Novolog seem to spoil faster than Regular and NPH.


http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_control_tips/hypoglycemia_unawareness.php

Tigerlilly's mom
06-25-2008, 08:05 AM
The others have pretty much answered your question.

This is what I found in Diabetes Mall



http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_control_tips/hypoglycemia_unawareness.php

That is so strange that it says that insulin in a pen can only be kept at room temp for 2 weeks. Tylers lantus pens specify on them that they are to be kept at room temp after opening for 28 days! :rolleyes: Guess your insulin storage may vary just like YDMV

selketine
06-25-2008, 09:43 AM
I've suspected insulin in his pump of losing potency if he had been outside in really hot weather a lot. He wears his pump on his back (in a pocket on his undershirt - that is where he wants to wear it) - and I think this only increases the possibility that it gets over heated. Especially if he is sitting with his back to something - it is already warm cause it is right next to his body.

They do make a Frio pump pack but it is too bulky for those little undershirts.

It hasn't happened often though. But you can imagine if it loses say...15% of its potency....that would screw you up just enough but not so much that you'd be going into full "change the insulin!!!!" mode.

Gaia
06-26-2010, 10:12 AM
Well it took me 45 minutes of searching to find this thread and have my question answered. Joey just got back from his uncles yesterday. This morning he woke in the low 300's :eek: Went to take insulin for breakfast and noticed that both of his Hemalog pens were cloudy. ( he always takes a pen of each for backup and uses each one so that they dont have to be refrigerated) Well, this thread explains why so thanks to the OP :D

Jordansmom
06-26-2010, 11:14 AM
Well this thread just makes me really sad. I have missed Jacobsdad's posts and funny sense of humor. I thought for a minute this was a new thread and he was back where he belongs. Then I saw the thread is ancient.:(

Gaia
06-26-2010, 11:56 AM
Sorry. Where has he been anyway?

Heather(CA)
06-26-2010, 12:32 PM
I need some opinions.
When insulin goes bad does it do absolutely nothing? Is it like giving water?
Are there times when the insulin is bad but it partially works, meaning it takes MUCH more of it to get the proper results?

Also, what is the appearance of bad insulin? Can insulin look perfectly fine in the vial or pump cartridge and yet be bad?

Thanks for your help!:)

This is my experience with insulin that has gotten too warm...You can't get them out of the 200's no matter what you do. Switch the vial if this is what's happening.:cwds: Annoying isn't it?

BTW, Apidra is WAY more sensitive than Novolog

Jordansmom
06-26-2010, 12:53 PM
Sorry. Where has he been anyway?

I don't know if I missed something or if he just disappeared. I just realized one day I really missed his posts. Often the way he looked at, or explained D care really helped and made sense to me.

shekov
06-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Sorry. Where has he been anyway?

I can't say for sure but I suspect Facebook has taken over his life as it has so many before him. ;):D

swellman
06-26-2010, 04:02 PM
Ironically, I posted in another thread a month or so ago about never having had a vial of insulin go bad ... until today. I'm pretty sure our Novolog went bad a few days ago, only 15 days into opening. It took several days of unexpected highs, two pods and a few syringe injections to come to that conclusion. A new vial and one injection and whoosh down came the BG.

TheFormerLantusFiend
06-26-2010, 09:46 PM
I've used lantus that was bad and have had two experiences with that- one where it acts more rapidly than its supposed to, and one where it plain doesn't act. I think it goes through the first thing before it does the second. I used to use expired Lantus on purpose to get an intermediate acting insulin sometimes, but I no longer do that; it's too unpredictable. I have never used insulin with bits in it.

hold48398
06-27-2010, 07:51 AM
I just wanted to add that we once had a vial of Novolog go bad...there were actual little bits floating in it!!!! The pharmacy immediately took it back, contacted the manufacturer and replaced the bad vial.

NomadIvy
06-27-2010, 08:21 AM
Yep, left the novopen in the car for an hour, just an hour here, and K kept running high the next day. It's been sooo hot here, and it's just going to get worse. So we've been using ice packs in her D-bag.

wilf
06-27-2010, 10:15 AM
From my experience, insulin that is going bad looses potency. So, it will work just enough to make you question your sanity!

This is what we've seen..

Flutterby
06-27-2010, 10:35 AM
I know this is an old thread but... We've seen both, loose potency, just enough to make me crazy.. and have floaties in it.. that was pretty obvious.. the loosing potency wasn't.. she was high, high, high, she's come down a bit and go right back up, but she had NO ketones (that is always a sure sign for us that insulin isn't getting to her one way or another). It seriously drove me crazy. I didn't even think of bad insulin until I talked to her CDE, it was a fairly new vial.